Thursday, September 30, 2010

Learning as I go...

I never in a million years thought I would ever move to Alabama.  The most I knew of the state was that Forrest Gump lived there, and even then, he is fictional…I think.  I pictured Alabama being full of confederate flags and trailer parks in the middle of nowhere, and the shopping consisting of Piggly Wigglies and gas stations.  But coming here, I realized that I couldn’t be more wrong.  As soon as I arrived in Mobile, I felt like a big uneducated idiot for thinking that way.  Here are some things I have learned about Mobile and/or Alabama since I arrived here exactly one month ago:
1.  As soon as I drove over the Bay Bridge into Mobile (which is a beautiful drive over the water by the way), I couldn’t believe my eyes.  In the distance I saw real life, really big high rise buildings!  (Later I found out that this was downtown Mobile.)  Cooper City does not have high rises.  1 point for Mobile.

(Downtown Mobile. Photo not taken by me…Well, taken by me from Google Images)
 (Bay Bridge on the way to Mobile)
2.   People from Mobile are called Mobilians.
3.   Pronunciation of “Mobile” is very important.  It is not pronounced like a mobile phone or mobile home, nor is it pronounced like a mobile which hangs above a baby’s crib.  The emphasis goes on the second syllable when talking about the city (mo-BEEL).  I apologize to any Mobilians for mispronouncing this at first.  But don’t worry, I will never do it again.

4.   Jimmy Buffet is a famous Mobilian.  He is doing charity concerts and things here lately to help benefit the efforts to clean up the oil spill. (His sister actually has a restaurant on the water about 45 minutes away which I am still wanting to check out: Lulu's at Homerport Marina)  

5.   After NYC and Chicago, Mobile ranks 3rd on the list of cities that have produced the most members of the Baseball Hall of Fame (5).

6.   Contrary to popular belief I am not the only Jew here. By 1853, there were fifty Jewish families living in Mobile, including Philp Phillips, an attorney who was elected to the Alabama State Legislature and then to the United States Congress (Thanks Wikipedia).  If they were here that long ago, I’m sure there are still some left….besides me.

7.   My personal favorite:  Mobile is the birthplace of MARDI GRAS in the United States, and has the oldest celebration, dating back to the early 1700s of the French colonial period.  (Thanks again, Wikipedia).  They have a ton of parades and even high society balls (As in “Cinderella went to the ball”… I thought I better clarify because I have never heard of a ball besides Cinderella’s).  From what I hear, Mardi Gras is more family friendly here, as compared to New Orleans, but it is just as big of a deal….just less boobies.  Wanna come?  It all starts February 5th this year if you’re interested!  You have a queen size bed in a 2nd bedroom calling your name! 

So Mobile isn't full of broken down cars and hillbillies.  As Jaron's dad said with such amazement on his most recent visit, “Your Home Depot is just like our Home Depot!”  I don’t know why us “city folk” expect the worst when thinking of Alabama, but I have to say, its pretty normal and pretty great so far - skyscrapers, Home Depots and all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Here we go!

Well, since starting this so-called “new chapter” of my life, a lot of things have changed.  Of course there are the big obvious differences:
1.   I am finished with school.  Forever
(Dad, Mom, me, and Jaron after my masters graduation from FSU August 2010) 

After a grand total of 20 years of schooling, thats right, 20 years of school, (1 year pre-K, 6 years of elementary school, 3 very awkward years of middle school, 4 years of life lessons in high school, 4 years of learning how to simultaneously study and party in college, then 2 more years of busting my tush in grad school) I am officially free!  Free from syllabi, tuition (although I now have the honor of paying back my loans), busses, and school supplies (which I still own, but now deem “office supplies”).  A part of me wants to be nostalgic and say how I miss things about school….but I don’t miss a daggum thing.  I feel ecstatic to be FREE from school FOREVER……..That is only unless my body becomes taken over by a scholarly ghost/alien and brainwashes me into thinking I want to go back for my PhD.

2.  I picked up and moved to Alabama, y’all.  Ok maybe I didn’t just pick up and go.  I’ve been planning this move for a while.  My boyfriend of 4 years, Jaron, got a job in Pascagoula, Mississippi, right outside of Mobile, Alabama and has lived in Mobile for about a year now.  We decided that when I graduate from grad school, I would move in with him.  So I did.  If someone asked me 2 years ago where I would see myself living after I graduate, I never in a million years would have guessed Alabama…but I will get to that later. 

3.  I’m living with the boyfriend.  
(This picture is from when we made “artwork” for our living room – I have to add that this art actually made it onto the wall!)

I am really reeeally lucky to have Jaron.  He understands that I need a bit of a break to defragment my brain after 20 years of school and he asked me to move in with him, knowing that I won’t have a job right away…and he was ok with that.  I am extremely grateful for him.  Sooooo, I have been hanging out at my new home while Jaron works every day.  This opens up a whole new challenge:  I have become…wait for it….a stay-at-home girlfriend.  Sounds GREAT, until I realized the duties that come along with this.  We are getting by with my new house-girlfriend skills, but we don’t have to go into detail on that just yet…That’s a whole other chapter in itself.

The job search is quickly approaching.  Until then, I will continue enjoying my time off, and I will keep you updated…